Cork's Over 60s talent competition final postponed for second year due to Covid

Cork's Over 60s talent competition final postponed for second year due to Covid

Norah Mary O'Riordan, Kilbrin,  with then Lord Mayor Dr John Sheehan and Paddy O'Brien, organiser after winning the 43rd Over 60's talent competition final at the city hall in 2019, the last final to take place.

FOUNDER of the Over 60s Talent Competition Paddy O’Brien has announced the postponement of the final at City Hall this year.

The final was rescheduled to take place on July 6 but the current pandemic has forced its postponement for the second year.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr O’Brien said: “I realise how disappointed this announcement will be to hundreds of elderly people who have been supporting the event for many many years.

“For many, it was the highlight of their lives and was the only social outlet they had, attending the local heats followed then by attending the final in City Hall.” 

The competition, which has been described as the biggest social event in Ireland for senior citizens, began in 1977 as a means to combat loneliness in those aged over 60.

“Loneliness was then and still is a great problem affecting the lives of many people and loneliness is what I would term a killer disease and back then it was as prevalent as it is today,” he said.

Mr O’Brien said that at that time, he had no intention to make the competition, which was a new concept, an annual event until it received extensive coverage in The Echo.

What followed was enquiries from people who wanted to take part and from groups caring for the elderly who wanted to run an event in their local areas.

When the competition first started it was confined to the city and the final was held at the Opera House, but once it expanded to the county, the capacity for a bigger audience was required so the final was moved to City Hall.

Mr O’Brien extended his thanks to Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister Simon Coveney who have been regular visitors to the final down through the years and expressed his appreciation for their continued support.

Over the past 13 years, proceeds from the competition have been raised for The Irish Heart Foundation.

Public Engagement Manager of The Irish Heart Foundation, Anne Riordan, paid tribute to all those who competed in the local heats of the competition and said that without these wonderful people we would not have the final at City Hall to look forward to.

She thanked all sponsors, including Francis Lennox Hearing Specialists, Liam Ryan’s SuperValu and The Echo, who have been involved in the over 60s Talent Competition for the last 45 years.

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